Sonepat camp for Olympics wrestlers cancelled

New Delhi, May 15

The planned camp for eight Olympics-bound Indian wrestlers in Sonepat has been cancelled because the hard quarantine they would have been forced to undergo has been deemed impractical. Instead, they will train in multiple European cities, with the national federation (WFI) allowing each of them a sparring partner of choice.

The wrestlers — both men and women — were to assemble at the SAI centre in Bahalgarh on Tuesday. However, as per a new plan devised by the WFI, all of them will travel to Warsaw in the last week of May.

The capital city of Poland will host the last Ranking Series event before the Tokyo Games from June 8 to 13, giving a chance to all to earn some crucial ranking points that will help them get a better draw at the Olympics.

“We had planned a camp in Bahalgarh but since they would not be allowed to train for 14 days due to hard quarantine, we thought it better that for the time being they train at their respective ‘akhadas’ and then travel to Poland,” WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar said.

“We are also allowing all the wrestlers to travel with one partner of their choice for practice. A few, like Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya and Deepak Punia, will be accompanied by their personal coaches too,” he added. The WFI has written to its counterparts in Poland that Indian wrestlers be allowed to use their facilities for a training camp ahead of the tournament in Warsaw next month.

After the tournament gets over, the Indian wrestlers will stay put in Warsaw for another training camp, which is being organised by the Polish federation. Following the Warsaw trip, the Indian contingent will move to Hungary for a training camp and then travel to Turkey, where it will train and compete at the Yasar Dogu event (June 25-27) before returning to India in July. — PTI

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